David Africa
David Africa

Why provide platforms for apologists of a criminal regime?

The recent assault by Israeli commandos on a civilian flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza raised protests globally, not least here in South Africa where we have always had a substantial pro-Palestinian movement. I attended a discussion on the Goldstone Report on the 2008/9 Gaza conflict, hosted by Open Shuhada Street this week, attended by pro-Palestinian activists and Zionists alike. Needless to say, both Goldstone and his report were rubbished by Israel’s apologists, all of them calling for balance and objectivity in the conflict. The fact that beyond Israel’s principled ally the US, both the investigative process and the facts are almost beyond dispute internationally — and that the members of the commission are credible individuals — does not prevent Israel’s apologists from diminishing the suffering of Palestinians (and others) at the hands of Israel. Needless to say, such apologies are always preceded by the now-standard “any loss of life is always a sad thing”. Which made me flash back to a hypothetical scenario in the 1980s: imagine a meeting to discuss yet another massacre or violation by the apartheid regime’s security forces in Soweto, Gugulethu or Kwamashu, and inviting several representatives of the apartheid regime, or its apologists, to come and give their side of the story, in the interest of “balance”. It would have caused an outrage, and rightly so. I do not see why the same principle should not apply to Israel, a country that consistently brutalises the occupied Palestinian population, frequently attacks its neighbours, flouts international law and United Nations resolutions, and now commits piracy by attacking civilians in international waters. Certainly there is a point in the behaviour of a regime where its actions become so outrageous that its explanations are of no concern in a  forum of civilised debate. Would we invite the Nazis, Khmer Rouge or Burmese junta to give us their opinion in the interest of balance? Even the Mugabe government (how many people has his regime killed, imprisoned or starved?) is rarely provided an opportunity to “put its side of the story”.

While I can appreciate this double standard in a guilt-ridden Europe, perpetually reminded of its sins by Israel and its apologists, and a US hyper-power imprisoned by its so-called “special relationship” with Israel, there is no need for South Africans to provide platforms for apologists of a criminal regime. Our own history demands that we approach the issue of Palestinian oppression and Israeli lawlessness on the basis of principle, not narrow self-interest, though even the latter does not compel us to play softie to Israel.

Israel’s behaviour has long ago reached a point where the only suitable venue to consider its explanations is in a properly constituted criminal court, and not in forums where its behaviour can be passed off as legitimate by articulate and well-dressed apologists.

135 Responses to “Why provide platforms for apologists of a criminal regime?”

  1. Larry Lachman #

    Continued…

    Two Narratives

    International reactions are often shaped by initial impressions. Undoubtedly, even Israel’s friends bought into the Hamas narrative: the Gaza Strip is starving, Israel’s cruel blockade must be removed, the Turks just wanted to give humanitarian aid, Israel opened fire on humanitarian workers.

    Israel will replace the Hamas narrative with its own account: In fact, Gaza has plenty of food. Indeed, the Washington Post reported on June 3 that the stores of Gaza City are stocked “wall-to-wall” with food. The people of Gaza need a better future, which the Hamas regime will never provide them, but they are not cut off from the world by Israel.
    The Israeli blockade is legal and necessary and its removal would lead to a flood of heavy Iranian weaponry, including long- range missile systems, coming to Hamas. A significant contingent on one ship of the Turkish flotilla was part of the notorious Turkish Insani Yardim Vakfi, which the French counter-terrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Brougiere determined was involved in the failed “millennium plot” to bomb the Los Angeles airport in late 1999. Israeli commandos acted in self-defense after this group attacked them.
    This shift in international perceptions about Israel’s operation against the Gaza flotilla won’t happen overnight. A fundamental understanding of this incident as a whole is required. Not populist parroting that just reveals innate hatred of Jews.

    Israel acted the way any other country, in exercising its right of self-defense, would have acted.

    June 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm
  2. Sarah Henkeman #

    @X cepting Maybe my response to Gavin & Bill clarifies. If not, lets focus on the challenge thrown out by David’s blog – because it goes to the heart of what seems to be contradictory about conflict resolution/peacebuilding practices (the ‘giving of platforms’ or ‘voice’ is fundamental to understanding the big picture. The aim is to understand the entire problem so that the best/most comprehensive solution can be processed).

    That is my interest here – to make the case for solutionseeking by everyone – not to derail the discussion by limiting it to the silencing and exclusion of women’s voices. But thanks for taking the bait.

    Why is it so hard to either stop defending and/or attacking a side or an opinion and to simply try and understand each piece of the puzzle to contribute some possible (even farfetched) solutions to be debated? I just don’t get this.

    June 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm
  3. Bill Rogers #

    @Mail & Guardian, given the title of this blog “Why provide platforms for apologists of a criminal regime?”, the content of the blog and David Africa’s responses to comments on his blog it is glaringly obvious that he is hardly objective and in fact has abused his column to put forward a highly personal point of view; furthermore, it is exceedingly plain that he would willingly deprive other people of their right to put their point of view and to defend themselves against allegations made by people like himself, people who want the freedom to cast aspersions without the tedium of having to respond to replies from those so attacked.

    I submit that David Africa is undeserving of any further opportunity to spout his poison in a public forum as a recognised contributor. If he wants to vent bile let him do it as an ordinary commentator with a limit of 250 words like the rest of us.

    June 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm
  4. Larry Lachman #

    Sarah Henkeman,

    The general theme of your comments here seems more along the line of a gender issue.
    We understand your contentions, however they are highly idealistic. You are crying out for ideas and solutions to replace the belligerence of opposing viewpoints and nations at war. What do YOU suggest? – besides your idea of wholesale conversion of worldwide human mentality.

    Let me suggest that Israel will become very peaceful towards its neighbor and other states in the region, if the belligerency and non-acceptance of Israel as a legitimate nation, were to discontinue.

    June 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm
  5. David Africa

    @Larry, whose views are fairly representative of pro-Israel lobby on this blog…
    1. I am not a M&G journalist but a commentator expression my own opinion, controversial as it might be to the few of you who live in denial at Israel’s criminality.
    2. You all refuse to deal with the two key claims I make in the blog: that one the one hand the Israeli regime is criminal (you don’t really want me to quote all the UN reports and the ICJ advisory do you?) and that, flowing from this, the most appropriate place to consider the explanations of a criminal is in court.
    3. Larry, your various explanations about Israel’s motivations mean nothing in terms of the law. The fact that a country is at war does not give it carte blanche. There are well-codified rules (jus in bello) about the conduct of war, and according to the Goldstone and numerous other reports, Israel has contravened these. By the same token your examples of other blockades are false, as most of these were authorised by the UN Security Council while Israel’s blockade is expressly condemned by the UN. The illegality of the continued UN blockade of Cuba does not make your little adventure against the Palestinians any more legal. International law is not changed by the cumulative illegal behaviour of a few states.

    Continue…

    June 13, 2010 at 7:48 pm
  6. David Africa

    4. Obtaining territory by force is unlawful under international law. Israel’s annexation of the Golan and Jerusalem is patently unlawful, a fact even acknowledged by the Americans. Your attempts at obfuscation do not change any of the above. Rambling on about military strategy, Arab collusion against the Palestinians or intra-Palestinian conflict does not exempt Israel from its legal obligations. Additionally Israel is legally the occupying power in the entire Palestinian territory, despite its ‘withdrawal’ from Gaza. No international organisations, courts or governments regard this withdrawal as a cessation of the occupation. In this respect then Israel has obligations to the Palestinian population, under the Geneva Protocols. Chief amongst this is the provision of humanitarian essentials. No one except Israel itself claims that the blockade on Gaza actually allows in the essentials required under international law.
    5. Many of you simply do not regard the Palestinians as people with rights, to be treated with dignity. The drivel that you spew out here is one of the reasons why my replies are limited. And no, my refusal to respond to your well-rehearsed drivel does not make me ignorant…just intolerant of bigotry

    June 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm
  7. Mark Robertson #

    I am rather interested in the leader that the author is researching ‘original thinking in the security and intelligence sphere, believing that too much of our thinking is unoriginal and imitates Western discourse.’ I would suggest the author writes an article on military history, with a view to showing that Western values such as political freedom, capitalism, individualism, democracy, scientific inquiry, rationalism, and open debate, are inferior to ‘non-Western’ values such as political dictatorship, socialism, collectivism, totalitarianism, superstition rather than science, and irrationalism/ animism (voodoo, witchcraft etc), coupled with the stifling of debate (as urged in this article). This is a genuine intellectual challenge.

    June 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm
  8. Sarah Henkeman #

    @Mark Robertson, is that internalised superiority rearing its head? Or is it a personal dislike of the author? Either way, how does this advance our understanding about reasons for or against providing a platform?

    I’m beginning to get very confused. What is the point of the space ‘thoughtleader’ again?

    June 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm
  9. Larry Lachman #

    Thanks for your reply David. You are not at all ignorant; – just selectively biased.

    Our contention is that the UN has been hijacked by Israel bashers, while very little concern is highlighted in the UNSC regarding far worse instances of Human Rights infringments being perpetrated in the recent past, and even as we speak.
    Where is the worldwide condemnation for the Uzbeks of Krygestan who are in the process of being attacked and culled by their fellow countrymen. People of this world are hardly aware of this three-day-old event. Where is the indignation?

    If Israel is behaving illegally then can someone please take us to the International court so that we can resolve this issue. Israel will have a field day.

    From the Jewish perspective, and based on our experiences for the last 2000 years, we see nothing but an hysterical obsession, – a sustained and frenzied onslaught of lie after distortion after fabrication after blood libel. Just like the Jew hatred of the past, the characteristics of this victimization are unique; just like the Jew hatred of the past. It treats the Jewish people as some sort of cosmic evil, and just like the Jew hatred of the past, it defies explanation; however, it’s happening, here and now, before our very eyes!

    What must Israel do, David? International law is not a suicide pact.

    June 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm
  10. Gavin Foster

    @Johan Meyer

    Boy, you sure use a lot of words to say… well, not very much at all, actually. Your pompous use of English is giving me a headache.

    I’ve never read the source you quote, but I’ve read plenty of other works about that psycopathic lunatic that became an embarrasment even to Castro.

    Nobody should have to read my article more than once. It’s clear and unambiguous, unlike your ponderous prose. Cops and cocaine… Good grief!

    The name, by the way, is Foster.

    June 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm
  11. Panchetta #

    David.
    Let me preempt your reply (and I will not hold my breath in anticipation.

    Let Israel relinquish its stranglehold on Hamas – (Gaza Palestinian civilians have been bearing the brunt, I acknowledge.) So the siege and blockade is over. What next?

    Will you have such a big mouth when Hamas is re-armed by Iran, and starts bombing civilian targets in Israel again, this time with tactical weapons? I can promise you that Hamas has zero respect for Internation Law of War. Israel will be justified in its response, and perhaps this will solve the problem with Gaza razed to the ground and devoid of all life.

    Hamas’ characteristic mode of “battle” is not purposeful military engagement, but primal religious sacrifice. How else can we understand and categorise ‘suicide bombings’. You need to get your head clear on this.

    In the final analysis, Israel faces a Palestinian terrorist enemy, backed by Syria and Iran, who embraces violence not for land, and not for national self-determination, but for God. For this determined Jihadist enemy, terrorism is now a plainly sacred expression of worship. Israel, like every other state, has the indisputable right and obligation under international law to protect its citizens from such an enemy and will no doubt continue to do so regardless of UN political machinations.

    If International Law is subverted to Israel’s detriment, then Israel will breach the law. We will change it. The world be damned.

    June 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm
  12. Johan Meyer #

    @Larry Lachman
    The attack on the North Korean vessel was widely condemned. In fact, all the examples of blockades that you’ve given were highly controversial in their time.

    That magistrate to whom you refer didn’t determine anything – he testified that IHH was involved, and it is not clear whether the testimony was at a trial, where he could be cross-examined, or at something like a grand jury, where no such opportunity exists. No-one else came to that conclusion independently.

    I just read the Gaza article you cited (Washington Post, 3 June 2010), and it is at some odds with what you say. Yes, the grocery stores on Salah al Din street are well stocked, which isn’t hard under the blockade, as the blockade prevents economic activity, thus preventing people from buying the food – according to Shaban, quoted in the article, people work all day (10 hours) for the equivalent of R40. To quote the article, “The blockade is explicitly designed to cripple Gaza’s economy” (Bashi). Therefor, yes, people are hungry, and food aid is necessary for the majority of the populace.

    The article also makes clear that Israel’s terrorist attack against Gaza’s sewage plant has resulted in such pollution of the coastal water that Gazans now import fish from Israel.

    June 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm
  13. Sarah Henkeman #

    @Larry, I tried several attempts at a response to your question – what would I do. I realise you are right, I am idealistic and my ideas are probably worthy of scorn – because they are so simple.

    I would simply focus on strategies, techniques and tactics to break down enemy images, get people to experience each other as human beings, get them to understand the conflict from the perspective of the ‘other’ and to argue from that position for a solution that would accommodate everyone’s deepest needs, fears, hopes etc.

    You see Larry, things are pretty simple for me. I want for the sons and daughters of other parents what I want for my sons – a more secure future, where the motto is ‘if you cannot help, do no harm’(author not known).

    June 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm
  14. Johan Meyer #

    @Gavin Foster
    Then I’m sure you’ll show your source, and a source at that that does not rely on Che: A Revolutionary Life.

    As for cops and cocaine, it was first pointed out to me by a junky fried whose father was a cop. I was weary of his claim, and checked over a year to verify his claim – the correlation between excessive arrogance and the combination of a shaved head and sunglasses hold well. But maybe its because I’m in an oil-producing area, where people work 16 hour shifts and use coke and other amphetamines to stay awake, that I’m so aware of its presence – here, my conclusions are hardly controversial, and hardly novel.

    If my language seems pompous, its mainly because it is my third language – I must carefully select my words.

    @Panchetta
    Hamas has largely ceased its suicide bombings, and most of the rockets coming from Gaza are by groups that are largely suppressed by Hamas. Suicide bombing in the region, in particular in Lebanon, was mainly by secular organisations in the 80s – many of the bombers were known atheists and many were known Christians.

    The record on the respective death-tolls suggests that reversing your conclusion brings one rather close to the truth.

    June 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm
  15. Johan Meyer #

    @Gavin Foster
    Some academic references on police abuse of hard drugs:
    Kraska and Kappeler. “Police On-Duty Drug Use: A Theoretical and Descriptive Evaluation” American Journal of Police. Volume 7, 1988, page 1.
    The above paper estimates that possibly a third of the NYPD at the time were at least occasionally using hard drugs.

    Carter. “Drug-related corruption of police officers: A contemporary typology” Journal of Criminal Justice. Volume 18 Issue 2. 1990 p85-98.

    If you want more, search google scholar with e.g. “police deviance” (including quotes) and e.g. cocaine.

    I rest my case re police and cocaine, but I should expand the matter to popular conservatism (including apparently left-wing tendencies). Drug abuse is common among self-defined conservatives, much like the rest of the population. What is instructive about cocaine is the arrogance that its usage brings. Your seemingly deliberate sloppiness with words – e.g. you seem to imply that I claimed that all cops abuse hard drugs yet your language is insufficiently clear, and you never seem to have clear premises or conclusions, only vague yet angry denouncements – is typical of such arrogance. Yet that arrogance can have roots other than drug abuse. For those who lack the automatic ability to play that game, turning to cocaine seems to do the trick. Much the same goes for other ‘apologists’ (strictly, bs-ers, but the same function is served).

    Regarding your name, that was accidental – I should have reread your name.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm
  16. Robard #

    Well, at least the Jews aren’t known as the world’s greatest soccer fans otherwise they would have had the Somali Muslims to contend with as well:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/10307512.stm

    June 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm
  17. Bill Rogers #

    @Sarah Henkeman, while there will be those who scorn your ideas it is not because your ideas are worthy of scorn; it is because they (we) are locked into fighting a verbal battle rather than (as you pointed out) seeking a solution. The problem from my perspective is that, being so far away and personally uninvolved, the best I can do is to raise objections to those who prefer to “give a dog a bad name” so that they can hang it – I hasten to add that I use the epithet “dog” idiomatically and not from my point of view but the assumed perspective of those who cry out for condemnation of those who hold a different position to their own.

    I applaud your idealism; don’t give up on it, it is the driving force for whatever contribution you find you can make in practice, however small. Keep the story of the boy and the starfish in mind: in expressing your point of view you have made a valuable contribution to the debate, and you will continue to make your contributions provided you do not lose sight of your vision for a better future.

    If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. – Dalai Lama (Google is wonderful!)

    June 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm
  18. Panchetta #

    @Sarah Henkeman,

    I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Bill Rogers above.

    By contrast, the almost pathological, and definitely obsessive crapola from Johan Meyer will have us all believing that most, if not all suicide bombings, have been committed by non-Muslims.

    June 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm
  19. Johan Meyer #

    @Panchetta
    Nice way to avoid the argument. Your tactic is a variation on the strawman. Even for Lebanon in the 70s and 80s, I didn’t claim that the majority of suicide bombings were carried out by non-Muslims – I stated rather clearly that in that period, the majority of suicide bombings were carried out by secular organisations, and that non-Muslims performed a substantial number of these. Because what I said is both factually uncontroversial and politically uncomfortable to you, you had to fraud away.

    @David Africa
    Notice that even my most shocking arguments are based in strong evidence – I’ll admit that bringing in police cocaine usage was a bit risky and off-topic, but served well to push the nonsense-spewing into a corner. (Ek moet seker maar ophou om so parmantig met die oom te wees…)

    A strong indication that you’ve thoroughly thrashed your opponents’ arguments is when they switch to tactics like red herrings and strawmen. Though I do find myself agreeing to a limited extent with Mark Robertson – going against ‘western’ philosophy amounts to metaphysical squabbles. If you want justice, go for the facts and empirical realities – they always choke on that.

    June 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm
  20. Johan Meyer #

    @David Africa
    You might also find the “Megaphone” desktop tool interesting – I did note above that many of the commentators were not regulars.

    June 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm
  21. Sarah Henkeman #

    @Bill & Panchetta, thanks. The tendency to defend and humanise those we regard as ‘ours’; and to demonise and attack the ‘other, runs deeper and wider than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It defies identity and goes to the heart of human nature.

    We don’t seem to realise that the very act of recognising evil (or good) in the ‘other’ is simultaneously a denial and/or a projection of our own capacitry for evil or good.

    We have to judge actions according to an agreed standard, not according to the ‘side’ we have chosen. And since no ‘side’ can be 100% correct all the time as pointed out previously, where’s the harm in accepting when your ‘side’ falls foul of agreed standards?

    Unfortunately, aggressive masculinity has brought the whole world to the precipice and too many atrocities are perpetrated in the name of ‘statehood’. We have to choose ‘for’ human security for everyone – that will take care of state security. We have allowed the dark side of nationhood, statehood, identity etc. to swallow us whole – with tragic results. I refuse to allow anyone to ever again define and limit me. And I refuse to define and limit anyone to one negative ‘lable’.

    A recognition (and accceptance)of our own contradictions as human beings is definitely a place to start. Outerwork, (however noble) without innerwork, is meaningless.

    As they say ‘we take our shadow with us wherever we go’(not sure if these are Jung’s exact words – google notwithtanding).

    June 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm
  22. Johan Meyer #

    I should point out that the ‘Lee, Lee and Lee’ reference is standard Singaporean mockery of their PMs (I’m not sure who the first Lee is supposed to be – maybe the younger’s son?).

    June 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  23. Larry Lachman #

    Johan Meyer likes facts that support his distorted viewpoint. There is no cohesive argument though.

    “….Interviewed by the Washington Post last June, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave a Surprising response to the writer, Jackson Diel’s question as to why he had Rejected the previous year’s offer by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud to create a Palestinian state in Virtually the Whole of the West Bank.
    “In the West Bank we have a good reality. The people are living a normal life,” was what he actually said.

    Aweidah was more explicit, explaining that there was No sense of Urgency in Pursuing Palestinian Statehood because of the need for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) to assist the Palestinian security forces in keeping out Hamas. (It will be remembered how in 2006, Fatah was driven from Gaza by Hamas in a short and brutal civil war; today, and for good reason, Fatah would seem to fear a recurrence of this in the West Bank more than they fear the IDF, notwithstanding what they might say for public consumption.) ….”

    The West Bank is Booming, while Gaza/Hamastan isdoing poorly. Abbas, watching Prosperity in the West Bank and letting the IDF do his fighting against Hamas, is in No rush for a Palestinian State, and Why he Rejected Israel’s last offer of that State. NOT that it wasn’t a Good offer.

    Hamas may have been elected democratically, (the short-sighted will wail), but they proceeded to undemocratically and violently banish the opposition.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:51 am
  24. Larry Lachman #

    There is no doubt that the Palestinian Authority, including Fatah, give their wholehearted and implicit blessing to Israel for their ongoing suppression of Hamas in Gaza; – much along the same lines of that given by Egypt who jointly impose the Gaza barricade with Israel.

    The occasional half-hearted condemnations from these two are for marketing purposes only and for upholding Arab and Islamic unity, but secretly, Hamas has bigger enemies than Israel.

    Commentators, and contributors here need understand the real-politic of this region if they want to have their views respected.

    Good luck polishing that ball of mud, Johan Meyer.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm
  25. Johan Meyer #

    And Larry Lachman is credulous toward a holocaust-denying friend of Israel, aka Mahmoud Abbas. The funny thing about Abbas is that his surname is bona fide Arab, whereas most Palestinians are of Canaanite ancestry, including Hebrew etc., and then Abbas has the absurd arrogance to lecture Palestinians on ‘when the Arabs settled Palestine’ – they didn’t, but the local people took on Arab culture.

    Abbas says that people are ‘living normal lives’ – everyone who’s bothered to check begs to differ.

    And there was no coup against Hamas (Dahlan is a figment of my imagination) because Mr Lachman says so. Wow.

    Mr Lachman, perhaps my views appear incoherent to you, but that is because you have an ideal opponent that you project onto me, and see discrepancies between my views and that of your apparently consistent ideal opponent. That is your right, but I care little to be your ideal opponent – to me, facts matter. I’ll note that you’ve given no data by relevant bodies (e.g. human rights organisations, UN bodies etc.) to suggest that people are living ‘normal’ lives in the west bank.

    Finally, whether my views are respected (by you, I presume) matters little to me. I state relevant facts, with sources when possible (people can ask for sources when not initially supplied), so that people can come to their own conclusions about what constitutes the reality of the occupied territories.

    June 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm
  26. Sarah Henkeman #

    It seems those innocuous, idealistic ideas I advanced here, are now criminal acts in the US – depending on who it is directed at.

    Please run for cover and read this in a safe space: ‘Mediation and Negotiation Are Designated As Criminal Acts: Maybe It’s For the Better’ http://www.mediate.com/articles/benjamincriminal.cfm

    June 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm
  27. Chopper4 #

    I read some of the replies here and it is a joke…David you make Hamas look like a bunch of princes and that all they want is freedom…yet they burn down Churches, ban Christmas and destroyed an over $100 million export industry overnight.

    Blockade shmokade…how you distort the facts, you do realise that for over a year before the bloackade was imposed EU officials were in charge of the borders and not Israel…occupation of Gaza was not present. until Gaza became an enemy territory and the EU officials were expelled by Hamas did Israel enforce a blockade.

    How you distort everything, for you everything is Israel’s fault and everything is the white’s fault, your one response I was waiting for you to pull a race card, which you did indirectly.

    it is always funny how ppl like you bring historians that have been discredited to push your agenda really funny indeed.

    For all of you that have not read the Hamas charter you guys do not even have the right to talk here as you do not even understand who Hamas is! http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html go take a read.
    by the way stealing lands and so on maybe you fools can answer this question: Has Israel grown in size since 1978 til present?
    David the UN resolution stated Israel must return lands captured BY war and not FROM war so stop bringing facts from chappies papers

    June 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm
  28. Johan Meyer #

    @Chopper4
    Can you provide a reference for the claim of churches being burnt down by Hamas? The only thing I could find was a monastery that was attacked and burnt, and that Hamas was suspected as the attacker. You are aware that in the last election, three Christians ran on the Hamas ticket, right? References for your other claims to, please. Did they destroy the export industry solely by thwarting the PLO/Israeli coup, or by more deliberate action?

    I do find it funny that you have such an amazing ability to both put words in others’ mouths, and distort without skipping a beat. Gaza remained legally under occupation, with the EU (and Egypt) helping Israel out. This business of blaming Israel (or whites) for everything is a matter of your fantasies. Which historians?

    Yes, Israel has grown (into the west bank) since 1978, and in fact, since January, 2010.

    What is the significance of the Hamas charter? The ANC’s freedom charter called for nationalisation of the economy, yet fewer industries (and a smaller percentage of the total) are nationalised now than under apartheid. Hamas’s leadership’s position is that seeing as they are expected to formally recognise Israel’s right to exist on the green line (a legal non-issue – no state recognises the right of its allies and enemies to exist) prior to negotiations, then they expect that Israel formally recognise Palestine’s right to exist on the green line.

    June 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  29. Johan Meyer #

    Some reality for the Israeli supporters here regarding Hamas’s policies and Israel’s support for Hamas to undermine the PLO (after the PLO has recognised Israel). Facts, as always, are uncomfortable to propagandists.

    June 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  30. Chopper4 #

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/06/church-destroyed-in-gaza-gazas-christians-fear-for-their-lives.html here is a better source than Wiki…as if wiki is a real source anyway.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/palestinian-christian-activist-stabbed-to-death-in-gaza-1.230592 the hardships of being Christian in Gaza

    The Hamas Charter has everything to do with this conflict, how is it possible to negotiate with a so called partner that dedicates its ideology in destroying you? you have a sick and twisted mind thinking that Hamas actually want peace.
    We do not need Hamas to recognise us as a state as they are terrorists and not the official government..you do remember Abbas disolved that illegal government legally and all according to the Palestinian constitution and formed a new government within legal constraints, so therefore according to the PA, Hamas is just as much an obstacle to the PA as it is to Israel.

    Israel has grown into the WB oh so you conveniently leave out Gaza that territory which Israel controls has been agreed upon by the PA at present the WB is at the most peaceful times anytime throughout history.

    Goodwill gestures of leaving Gaza and southern lebanon only brought one thing -WAR.

    burning down greenhouses which could have kept an industry running was a direct influence at destroying the Gaza economy

    http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm

    June 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm
  31. Chopper4 #

    By the Way Johan where in the ANC freedom charter does is say they want whites to be destroyed totally?

    Another thing which is in the Hamas charter is that the area must be Islamised that means no other Religion may be present in future Palestine and it must be governed by Sharia…these are all against the constitution of Palestine, stating that freedom of religion is a must and also that Palestine will be a secular state.

    BTW do you realise that Hamas executes without the orders of the President another constitutional violation and for what? selling land to a Jew…but yet a palestinian can own land in Israel…Facts do not lie and I never put any words in anyone’s mouth…you are the one who bases your agenda on cherry picking and not looking at the bigger picture…Hamas is the main obstacle the Palestinians in WB do not want anything to do with them due to the fact that Israel is at Peace with the WB and has been for years and as long as Hamas stay out of the WB The palestinians live there a very good life.

    So Johan what other falsifications do you want to try and invent??

    June 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm
  32. Johan Meyer #

    @Chopper4
    So if I understand you correctly, an attack by masked gunmen on a church (as if that never happened under Fatah rule, ha!) and the murder of a Christian man by unknown assailants (ditto), constitute a war by Hamas against Gaza’s Christian population? That is the most interesting thing I’ve read today. May I talk similar leaps and bounds in interpreting Israeli actions? Your link re greenhouses doesn’t say anything about greenhouses. But if, say, a huge number of greenhouses burnt down (10?), either the economy had been so weakened already prior to take-over that such a small attach would have huge consequences, or 100s of greenhouses would have to have been destroyed – reference?

    But then again, the West Bank isn’t doing all that great either.

    But seriously, Jihad Watch? Are they targeting Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan? Thought not. Although they did have the decency to give a source – the Jerusalem Post (which is often contradicted by the Hebrew language press – does saying that make me a Jihadi?).

    Terrorism? Like the attack on the Mavi Marmara? How about the hijacking of a certain Syria airlines jet in 1954? Courtesy of IDF. Ditto the shooting down of a Libyan airliner that got lost in a sandstorm, and was minutes away from Cairo.

    I think you have a sick terrorist mind.

    June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm
  33. Chopper4 #

    Most of the attacks have been when Hamas is the one policing the area…if they can not govern properly not my fault…cowardly masked gunmen are always linked to radicals and Hamas just like hizbullah do not allow things to happen without their prior knowledge. how Naive you type in your replies.

    attack on the Mavi marmara…looks like you have judged before the facts are even known and from the evidence already on youtube it shows that there was blood on the ship during daylight before the Israelis even boarded, not to mention the preparing of the ambush.

    next you gonna say that Mohammed Al Dura was killed by the Israelis…the whole 2nd intifada was executed on false information…

    funny how you bring the mouth piece for terrorists as proof that the west bank is in shambles…but why are you trying to blame Israel? the West bank is fully under PA governance and not Israel…there is no blockade on the west bank and import export in WB is not affected by anyone except the PA. So what are you trying to say? I was just saying that Israel is at peace with the WB and nothing else.

    As for the syrian airliner no concrete facts it was not hijacked but forced to land…that is not hijacking. The Libyan airliner that was shot done entered ISraeli airspace and did not conform to ISraeli instructions and got shot down…any country would have done the same

    July 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm
  34. Chopper4 #

    are you smoking some mandrax or something? Do you know how much you can grow in a greenhouse? I guess you have no concept of how a greenhouse works…The day Israelis disengaged from gaza they left those greenhouses that could have been used to give jobs and create FOOD for the gazans and what happened to them? they were burnt to the ground…http://www.zionism-israel.com/ezine/gaza_green.htm

    Johan you really have no clue how greenhouses work.

    Israelis are able to make a desert flourish and only took a few days for the Palestinians to make Gaza a desert all over again and you know what…not one Israeli was in the area or its surroundings and laughably you blame Israel.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9331863/ from this article it states that 3000 greenhouses were transferred to the PA…that means there were alot more than 3000 greenhouses that were destroyed and that just makes you look like a fool when you say 100 or 10. just shows how much you really know…nothing.

    Good thing you mention Fatah as if they are really a partner in peace…but they are at least better than Hamas…look at the facts if they did what Israel did in 1948 they would have been celebrating 62 years also but they chose to be duped by their so called “brethren”…BTW how much aid has come from their Arab brothers? go look that up

    July 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm
  35. ian shaw #

    “….Israel faces a Palestinian terrorist enemy, backed by Syria and Iran, who embraces violence not for land, and not for national self-determination, but for God.”

    Israel claims their territory as given to them by God.. So what is the difference? Whose side is God on?
    Self-defense? I don’t have any respect for the kind of self-defense that answers stonethrow with heavy weapons, air raids and bombs. This “self-defense” argument is the most shameless hypocrisy,
    In summing up the apologists, Israel has the right to possess nuclear bombs (but no one else), israel has the right to illegally occupy foreign territory, Israel has the right to wilfully destroy, kill and maim in the name of self-defense … Why? Because they are God’s chosen people. .Anyone else who does not agree with this is a lowly antisemite and holocaust-lover….

    August 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

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