Attention Israel: Enough is Enough.

Army kills two Israeli security guards after mistaking them for Palestinian gunmen

Palestinian Fireman killed while tackling blaze and it’s on TV.

And the fruits of all this? Why, obviously, terrorism in Israel is now eradicated!

Oh, wait! No it isn’t.

The tactic of getting rid of terrorism by killing the terrorists - successful much? Nooo… no I don’t think it is. But that’s not my major point here. My major point is one I’ve made time and time again, although not here. But you dopers are a bright lot - maybe you can answer it.

WHY is the Israeli army not held accountable for its actions? Why is it not held to the same standards of accountability that other armies are held to. It doesn’t matter that Israel is under attack by terrorist factions, it doesn’t matter that people were throwing rocks at tanks (yes, yes, I know that rocks can be a terrible and nasty and violent weapons, and I’m sure firehoses can too), what matters is that the Israeli army is now so trigger-happy that they shoot anyone.

I say again, if, during the IRA bombing campaigns, our army had behaved anything like this, the Prime Minister would have lost his job. The Bloody Sunday atrocity was just one episode, and it haunted the British Army for years after the event. Why does nobody ask questions? Why are there no reviews and inquiries into the situation? Why are people just accepting the actions of the soliders as unavoidable, when we know that they aren’t. The British Army managed to counter the IRA without tearing down houses, bulding million dollar a mile walls, or killing Irish children. We never once fired a tank shell directly at an Irish fireman. The IRA killed over 3,000 people during the Troubles, but everyone knew that this would not excuse barbarism on our side. We managed to get through it without inflaming the situation still further. Why is Israel being allowed to let its army run apparently unchecked?

Remember, Israel, unlike the UK, is under the impression that it could be eradicated at any time. There is opposition to this in Israel, mainly in the form of the Meretz (left of Labor) party.

Beyond that, I can’t really explain it.

Well,

I am not an expert on the issue but my guess would be that the Israeli Armed forces generally don’t make many mistakes like this. In fact I cannot remember any other incidents where the Israelis killed innocent people by mistake. I could be wrong.

But wait, I read the article. Two armed men were ordered to stop. They didn’t. Instead they fled. (That is if the first link you provided is unbiased)

Also, I have a question for you.

What exactly do you think is the best way to get rid of terrorists? Invite them over for tea? Bow to their demands?

Another question for you:

What exactly do you know about this incident that the rest of us don’t. The article that you linked to said two armed men got into a car and refused the order to stop. They ran, they got shot. Was it the best way to handle the situation? I don’t know because I wasn’t there. Yet, had the men complied they wouldn’t be dead.

I’m sorry but your assertion that

just doesn’t hold water with the cites that you provided. Armed men ran when they were ordered to stop. Guess what? If you do that out here in the good old US of A you stand a damned good chance of being shot.

Man, get a clue.

Slee

At the same time the terrorists who have attacked Israel make it a point to kill non-combatants. Israel does not.

Also, comparing the Israeli situation to the IRA situtation just doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

Gotta put yourself in their shoes there 'hoss. If you were an Isreali Jew, with a few million neighbors to your immediate East who’s only goal in life was to kill you & your family, would you really want your army to be nice to those savages?
It’s not like the Troubles the UK had. It is a real war, with a real enemy, bent on killing children & civilians while conscientiously avoid real military targets.

As far as killing terrorists being a non-viable solution, keep in mind the only reason it’s not working is that the rest of the world is trying very hard to make military action against these freaks seem like a bad thing. In so doing, Isreal & her only ally, the US, are behaving to restraintedly to enact a real solution.
Left to their own devices, with no outward pressure, the Isrealis would no doubt annihilate this scourge in rather short order.
Also, what would you propose to do with a group that will not listen to reason & takes great joy in murdering children? Just curious.

sleestak

Israeli soldiers killed eight people, including a pregnant woman, yesterday in the latest in a series of raids in Gaza.
They may not have a policy of deliberately targeting them, but they don’t go out of their way to avoid it, shall we say.

But that isn’t the point by any stretch of the imagination. The Palestinian groups are terrorists and murderers. Fact. The Israeli army is the military wing of a democratically elected government which receives Aid from the USA. Therefore, it should act like it. “Waa, but they started it” is NOT an excuse.

Seccesionist terrorist violence inspired by religious rivalries older than any of the combatants involved. Yup, I can’t find a single similarity between them either.

IEatFood

Yes, I sure would. Because, you see, I happen to not break down the world into Black and White. I didn’t see every person in Northern Ireland as a “savage.” Dehumanising the enemy is a great way to let yourself off the hook and not accept responsibility for your actions, but sending a tank down the shankhill road and blasting the fuck out of a bunch of kids throwing rocks wouldn’t exactly do much to convince the people of Ireland that we weren’t the evil monsters that they’d been taught, would it? In fact, wouldn’t it instead prove it and give them more reason to fight back?

I’m SORRY? Did you MISS the IRA’s bombing campaigns in London? Did it pass you by? Did you conveniently overlook the fact that London had a bomb scare nearly every week during the 70s and 80s? Did you never have any friends who heard about a bombing and thought “Oh my god, my dad/sister/brother was in that building?”

The IRA claimed it was a war. They fought it like a war. They blew up buses and hotels too, remember? I had FAMILY in Belfast, dammit! It’s was exactly like the situation in Palestine. “Those Savages” wanted the British off “their land”, and they were prepared to kill me to get it if I happened to get in their way.

Let me get this straight…

In order to create peace in the Middle East, you recommend that the rest of the world get out of the way and let Israel and the USA ride in and kill all the Palestinians.

Right.

Because that’s what it would take. You kill one terrorist or suspected terrorist, and four more are there to take his or her place. You kill a 13 year old a week, regardless of whether or not he was “throwing rocks”, and you get a lot of angry parents, justified in their anger, because you killed their baby boy. Ain’t nothing taking that hurt away from them.

And, of course, once Israel went in and did that, and the USA was in Baghdad, the world would be completely safe from the rest of the Arabic-speaking world, wouldn’t it?

Jesus H Christ…

Which side are you talking about?

From time to time the Israeli Army does discipline it’s soldiers when it needs to. It is entirely possible that the tank commander that shot at the firefighter is guilty of a crime. It is also possibly an accident, an artillery round the fell short due to defect, or a physical accident.

Given the military capability of the Israeli armed forces, the group of tanks in Gaza could have killed 1100 people, instead of 11, had they desired. So I’d say an investigation is called for. If there was a recorded radio order to shoot the firefighter, then evidence is on tape. But if not, it probably comes down to interviewing the men in the tank. You only get a case for a criminal trial if two or more of the tankers agree who is responsible for ordering the round, or for firing the round without orders, if that’s what it is.

If the commander says he said “Look at the fire!” and the driver says he was trying to figure out what the commander had said, and the gunner says he heard “Fire!”, what do you do? Of course, they spoke Hebrew, not English, so my example may not work exactly, but you get the idea.

Oh, I understand all that.

The issue is this:

Either,

  1. the issue has not been fully reviewed, or
  2. If there have been investigations and reviews, then someone, somewhere, in the Israeli heirarchy has decided that the collateral damage of pregnant women and 9 year old children is acceptable.

If neither of these things were true, then the tactics of the Israeli army would have been changed to reflect this. As they haven’t, either someone is not taking responsibility, which is bad, or someone IS, which is worse.

When I was in high school, some pupils passed out leaflets on what was happening in the occupied territories. People said it couldn’t be that our soldiers would do such things. Now you read worse things in the mainstream media and people don’t care. We used to say that if only people know about it, it would stop. Now they know about it, and it hasn’t stopped."

Secessionist terrorist violence
The Palestinians are not just secessionist, although there is a great deal of debate on this point. For the bulk of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Arab position has been to destroy Israel completely. The IRA wasn’t trying to conquer England. Until the 1990’s the PLO was completely rejectionist (Israel has no right to exist).

When the PLO more or less stopped being rejectionist, the Oslo peace process started. The current crop of terrorist groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are totally in the rejectionist (push them into the sea) side. The PA refused to suppress this rejectionist violence, having the effect of supporting it and denying it at the same time.

I would like to see a military study compare the two conflicts. It may be that the reason for the greater number of deaths in the Middle East has to do with population densities. Or it may be that both sides are simply more violent. The total number of IRA bombs that went off in England is very small. The Irish conflict was mainly between the Protestants and Catholics inside Northern Ireland, and that is a significant difference.

There is also a difference in history. The PLO used to send shells and rocket fire on completely civilian settlements inside Israel, and they killed many of the 1972 Olympic Team. The Arabs have fought several wars against Israel and nearly wiped it out. The existence of Great Britain as a nation was never in doubt. The Brittish Olympic Teams came home intact, and the shephards and farmers never had to worry about incoming rockets and artillery.

Also, our perception of a big difference in the level of violence may be due to the different ways that the media handle the two different issues. Here in the USA, the Irish situation recieves less press than does the Middle East, and your British media might give a different impression than either the US media or the Irish Catholic press.

In the current situation, the Israelis feel completely exasperated with the Palestinians, because they not only re-started the war and ended the negotiation process, they said that the reasons were 1) Ariel Sharons walk on the Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa Mosque, and 2) Killing Israelis should be winning policy because it clearly drove them out of Lebanon. The Israelis voted in Ariel Sharon as a sort of punishment on the Palestinians, where previously the Israelis had preferred the more conciliatory Barak. It is reasonable to conclude that these changes in Israeli attitude have also changed Israeli military attitudes and behavior. I see in all this no excuse for deliberately firing on a working fireman, if that’s what happened, but it shouldn’t come as a total surprise.

To those of us who have been observing the conflict over the last few years, it doesn’t come as a suprise.

It makes us cry, though.

Don’t for a second think that I’m on the side of the PLO or whoever. I’m not. But the people in the Occupied Territories are caught between a rock and a hard place. With the terrorists on one side and the Israelis on the other, where do they turn? Unless we give the ordinary people a way out, how can they escape?

(And the Irish situation isn’t bad now. Which is kind of the point. We managed to almost completely eradicate the bombs and contain the hardcore sectarian violence in a tiny area, where it duly turned into low-class drug running and organised crime, and we did it without killing Irish children. If we had killed Irish children, I very much doubt we’d have been able to get where we are today.)

Just a tiny comment and nitpick.

In neither Northern Ireland, nor Palestine/Israel, are the conflicts inspired primarily by religious rivalries. They are at heart territorial and secondarily tribal ( part of which, and only part, is expressed in religion ).

For example Christian Palestinians tend to loathe Israel with every bit as much fervor as their Muslim compatriots and in similar proportions and that hatred is only tangentially related to anti-Semitism ( i.e. the anti-Semitism exists, but it is much a product as a cause ). The PLO ( and its PA successor ) was/is a secular nationalist organization, had and has Christians in its leadership and two of its most violent offshoots or splinter groups were ( I think at least one still is ) headed by Christians. When asked to articulate the reasons for Palestinian antipathy, the number one answer is always land. Whether it be anti-settler sentiments, right of return, Jerusalem, even water rights - It’s all about territory.

The reason religion gets all the play these days is due to the rise of radical Islamism in the Palestinian population ( tied to a general rise in Islamism in the greater Muslim world, in part due to a perceived failure, at least the Arab world, of the political model of secular nationalism ). But this is quite recent, really, and obscures the true source of the underlying tensions.

Similarly for Northern Ireland - the Catholic/Protestant split is more a tribal byproduct, rather than the source of violence.

Apologies for the hijack.

  • Tamerlane

Then you are uninformed, according to a recent Israeli government report over the last 29 months the Israeli army has killed over 360 innocent civilians, of which 130 were children under 16 years of age.

These figures are somewhat lower than those reported by Human Rights groups.

The issue is that the Israelis’ hardline approach has not stopped terrorist activities. On the other hand, the level of terrorist activities in Northern Ireland has decreased, and it’s not due to the British government tearing through Irish cities, guns blazing. The Israelis could learn a thing or two from that.

Tamerlane - In the end, the problems in Ulster and Palestine come down to one thing “we’ve been fighting so long it doesn’t matter why any more.” Be it land or religion or water or control or self governance or whatever the excuse is, the overwhelming reason for fighting is that there’s always been fighting. But, with that caveat, I agree with you in principle.

It would only give them reason to fight back if they remained willfully ignorant of the situation regarding why the tank was there in the first damned place.

See here’s the thing McDuff (cool name by the way.) The Arabs were offered half of palastine, including a lot of territory in what is now Isreal. Instead, they refused, on the grounds tat they didn’t want the Jew to pollute their landscape.
And in so doing, several Arab nations have made it their mission to Destroy the only democracy in the middle east, while at the same time, deporting and not lifting a finger to help their Palastinian “Brothers.” Isreal, on the other hand, is defending itself, brutally at times, but they have initiated Nothing of what happens today.
It was the Arab nations (Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, SA), that drew all sorts of rediculous lines in the sand, and declared that it was very much indeed, a black & white issue.
So what is Isreal to do now? Take it in the proverbial “rear” just to satisfy a world that may have other agendas not realting a whit to the interests of Islam?

As for the provos, there can be no doubt that there was considerable violence. But the Key difference is that they were willing to settle their differences with the UK. Apparently, both sides lost their tastes for violence, something I don’t see the PA doing anytime soon.
Let me just say that I do not advocate wholesale slaughter of the Palastinians, but, when it comes to whether Isreal should defend herself from peopel who set out very specifically to kill children, I’m sorry, but that’s not much of a thinker there.
Considering what Isreal has at it’s disposal to use against the PA, I think they have shown remarkable restraint given the circumstances.
Considering the resources the PA has at it’s disposal to use against the Isrealis, I think they have shown no restraint at all. Thats’s where the difference is made.

And as far as the situation in Iraq goes, I don’t see how that relates to the situation in Isreal & Isreal propper.

Works that way on the oter side too. Except, Isreal has nukes to use. How long can you ask them to forget about their dead 13 year olds (who were NOT throwing rocks & breaking the law by the way), and not use such things before they say “f*ck it,” and do it anyways???

This is patently untrue. The fact that terrorist attacks still happen does not mean the policy is not working. The bomb in Haifa the other day was the first successful terrorist attack against Israel in nearly two months, there having been a tightening of the security restrictions (“hardline approach” if you will) in recent months. You can argue that the hardline approach is wrong, but it stupid to say that it is ineffective. The number of successful terrorist attacks is extremely low compared to the number of attempted terrorist attacks, and that is a direct result of Israeli policy? If you had a water filter which got rid of 99% of impurities, would you say that it does not remove impurities?

I think this is an incorrect and unhelpful approach to the problem. Both sides have grievances, legitimate or not. The Israelis are fighting because they want to stop the Palestinians from attacking them. The Palestinians are fighting because they want a state, many of them believing that state should (and in some cases can only) consist of the entirety of “historic” Palestine. These are not excuses; they are reasons, and to regard the conflict as completely arbitrary, some sort of silly childish game, is not only insulting to both peoples but also, IMHO, the biggest problem with the entire Oslo process.

Oh really?

Nothing has changed to make what we did in the 1970s right then and wrong now.

The dissident Real IRA last night claimed it was behind a large bomb left outside the law courts in Belfast city centre on Wednesday night.

A member of the IRA’s Army Council sent out the men who were killed and wounded in a shoot-out in south Armagh last week.

Those are all from the last week. Seems to me like the extreme element is still alive and well. The difference, like all these cases, is that the average bloke on the street has a vested interest in not getting shot, not getting blown up, in having a safe place for his kids to go to school and his wife to go to work. The difference is that most people don’t listen to the IRA’s message of hate any more.

Wilful ignorance, eh? The tank was there because of a suicide bomber, but the suicide bomber was there because of the assasination of a rebel leader, but the rebel leader was leading a rebellion against the tanks, but the tanks were protecting Israel against the terrorists, but the terrorists were fighting for their land…

It is, in fact, entirely possible to trace this back to 1953 and beyond, right back to Abraham if we want to. Who’s at fault? Who’s really to blame? shrug I blame the British, personally.

“The Arabs” are a single group in the same way that “the Catholics” are. There are a lot of Arabs who really don’t give a flying rats arse one way or the other about Israel, who simply want bread on the table. If Israel has to go to get that, then so be it, but if they can get that with Israel there, then that’s fine too. The Islamist movements rise up and grow where there is a particularly harsh concentration of poverty and hopelessness. Exacerbating poverty and hopelessness will not eradicate Islamism or terrorism.

I agree with you. But driving tanks into the settlements is not only a spectacularly poor defense, it’s not even designed to be one. Sharon is a moralist. He’s not interested in preventing terrorism as much as he is in punishing the Palestinians for their actions. Approaching the issue with this attitude doesn’t protect his people, it locks them in a vicious circle of tit-for-tat violence.

If he was interested in peace, the Israeli forces wouldn’t be bulldozing Palestinian houses to erect a huge wall around the Occupied Territories - they’d be spending the money to rebuild Palestinian houses. I’ve said it before, although maybe not here: when the fanatics come round your house and denounce a people as satanic heretics, it holds much less water if those people recently helped rebuild your house and shared a cigarette with you. Would that eradicate three thousand years of fighting? Of course not, but it would be a start.

If I am on a trial for assault, I must remember this. “I could have killed him, yeronner, I think I showed remarkable restraint.”

I’m not supporting the PA’s actions. The PA are on the side of the Palestinian people only because they are the only people willing to be there.

Remember WWII? Hitler’s rise to power was caused by the poverty stricken German people being willing to accept anything that would put food in their bellies. The one person who was capable of it was Adolf Hitler. Had we not ran Germany into the ground at Versailles, any number of moderate politicians might have emerged. They might not, but it’s worth considering that Versailles was designed to punish a people for the actions of its leaders… just as Sharon’s actions are.

It’s all to do with Land and Imperialism, and old Holy Sites. You want to make an Islamist mad? You put Jews in Jerusalem and Americans in Baghdad.

We’re not asking them to forget about them. We’re pointing out that their actions, while they may be creating dead children on the other side, are singularly failing to protect any future 13 year olds from being victimised in the same way. Revenge and defense are two different things.

<<WHY is the Israeli army not held accountable for its actions? Why is it not held to the same standards of accountability that other armies are held to.>>

Strange that I should read this complaint about accountability today, it being 35 years to the day since the My Lai massacre.

What was it that Lt Calley received after being found guilty of the premeditated murder of 22 civilians? House arrest and a presidential pardon in 1974.

I really don’t have the time to answer you point-by-point, McDuff, but I’d like to note two small differences between the Irish and the Palestinians:

  1. All the IRA wants is to kick the English out of Ireland; not even the most extreme factions want to kick the English out of England. Michael Collins never promised to liberate London.

  2. England is not surrounded by 1 billion angry Celts, most of whom would like nothing better than to wipe it off the map.
    P.S. Stop patronizing us.

Allessan, I’m not trying to patronise you.

What I’m trying to do is work out how come an organised military of a democratic country can get away with killing, accidentally or otherwise, children, firefighters, pregnant women, old ladies, etc etc, and have apparently no checks and balances introduced into their system, no reviews of their strategies and the ways in which they approach the situations, no attempts made to prevent these casualties occurring. Or, even worse, that someone considers it a tradeoff, or as payback.

I appreciate the siege mentality will probably be easy to get into in Israel, but there’s a fundamental difference between terrorism within your own borders and military agression outside of it. There is also a fundamental difference between a ragtag bunch of stone throwing suicide bombers and the Government of Israel. That we expect better behaviour of a democratic government than a bunch of criminals and muderers is not an insult, it’s an acknowledgement of your authority in the area. With authority comes accountability.

Honestly, as someone in Israel, do you feel safer knowing that the tanks are rolling through Jenin daily? Do you think that the destruction of Palestinian houses and the erection of this huge wall will, actually, make it any safer for you to walk down the streets?

Does this matter to you? Or does it matter more that Israel keeps getting back at the Palestinian Authorities for the damage it is wreaking on your society?

(legion, WRT My Lai, the problem there was that one man was made a scapegoat for the brutality of the entire US army. It wasn’t fair to let him carry the can for it all. As someone whose name escapes me at the moment said, “every unit has it’s My Lai.” Far better would have been accountability across the board from the get-go in that situation. But nobody’s claiming that Vietnam was a good thing, are they?)

And why can Israel defy UN security council resolutions and get away with it, whereas Iraq will be invaded on the pretext that it has been defying a UN resolution?