Israeli Dopers, What's the Deal?

Can you ‘kidnap’ a soldier? I thought the word was ‘capture.’

I believe going across the border possibly just to capture them constitutes kidnapping. You ain’t at war until after you do it, you see. :slight_smile:

I would complain that you are being pedantic, but upon reflection, I think you are right. So I won’t complain.

Not to worry about the gas, I will accept 122 New Shekels.

It’s because I went to Shul this morning.

The other guy made the bet, not me. There’s a mitzvath or something.

Come to think of it, must one be a member of a military unit to capture vs. kidnap?
If the KKK had begun guerrila operations in Central High at my home town in 1957, could they have captured a member of the 101st airborne, or would they have kidnapped him?

This is called “twisting the knife” and we do it when we win an unmade bet while we are at Shul.

I just wanted to make a point about this. This wiki article claims that these rockets are 9K51 Grad rockets Israel-Lebanon conflict

Now following the link to see what a 9K51 Grad Rocket is you end up with something that if I were to drive it down my neighbourhood street would surely be noticed by someone. Does the local government in Lebanon just wave ‘hello’ when they see something like this driving down the street? Frankly, if they do they are no different than the Taliban letting Al-Qaeda hang out in Afghanistan pre-invasion.

I do not like to complain about the Lebanese, as I think two girls together is really, really hot. Still one must admit that the Lebanese are complacent in all this. But given the fragile nature of their government it is too much to expect otherwise.

Still even given the locals did not do all they could have done or should have done, do you think Israel’s actions will somehow make the region a Better Place?

Good point. Danny Thomas wasn’t stupid.

Maybe it will stop it from becoming a Worse One.

You keep saying Israel shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, which is fine. But you have nothing to offer as an alternative, which isn’t so good. I’m curious, Paul. If you were one of the Israeli guys deciding a course of action, what would it be? To do nothing? Would your input really be Give Peace A Chance?

Personally, I think it’s clear that Israel has to do something. They chose this route, which I can relate to. I think they tried the GPAC method, and it bit them in the ass. Why should they stick with it? One of the things I respect about Israel is that I’ve never seen them afraid or indecisive about acting. Maybe some of their judgment calls are bad, but at least they’re doing something. I can’t see how sitting there and absorbing continual poundings from their neighbors is going to benefit them. I freely admit I’m not the smartest bee in the hive, so if I’m missing something, please enlighten me. I’m waiting for someone to throw down a reasonable argument for the GPAC approach (besides ‘well, what they’re doing now isn’t going to work’), and I haven’t seen one. Paul, you’ve been in the Middle East for many years now, right? I’ve only spent limited time there. My impression, however, is that showing weakness is a Bad Thing. I’m not sure how else Israel’s failure to act would (not could) be interpreted.

I too would value your opinion on that point, Paul. :slight_smile:

“I do not know.”

But among the things I would consider is super-quick counterbattery fire. (I know these rockets can be fired by timers, but it would satisfy the primal urge to ‘do something.’)

All in all, these rockets cannot cause the defeat of Israel. Is it worth igniting a general war?

I recall the words of the American Philosopher Henry David Thoreau, “Don’t just do something, stand there!” Is doing the wrong thing better than doing nothing much? Why let these insects set policy?

You are calling one of America’s foremost author’s an insect? :eek:

For a less flippant response, I suppose it depends upon whose Grandma was blown up by a rocket, or whose son was kidnapped and murdered while hitch hiking.

I was really hoping for an insightful answer to my question, Paul, since I’ve enjoyed it in the past. You’re a smart, educated guy. If I’m not mistaken, you’re a retired Army teacher in Saudi with a decent grasp of history (way more than I can say for myself). You should be able to provide a unique perspective instead of introducing philosphical rhetoric. This is a real country under attack. They chose to strike back. If you’re getting philosphical, then how is, as per your assertion, this choice ‘wrong’? It may be different than what you would choose, but I’m not sure how it’s wrong. I’m guessing they would tell you that philosophically, it’s pretty damn right. But back in the real (and brutal) world, If you’re the leader of this country looking at the strategic picture and thinking of the desires and welfare of your people, is sitting back and doing nothing the ‘right’ choice? And I don’t buy that their present course of action is fueled by simply a ‘primal urge,’ if that’s what you’re implying.

I don’t know. I’m not trying to badger you; I just don’t get how folks can so easily deride Israel for what they’re doing without offering any better alternatives. And I’m not an Army guy, so I don’t know jack about counter-battery fire, but that strikes me as sort of throwing a glassful of water on a bonfire to try and put it out.

So far Tiberias, Haifa and Zefat, all well-populated areas, have been hit by rockets. The Haifa strike has demonsrated Hezbollah’s capacity to hit Israeli cities–TARGETING CIVILIANS, by the way–outside of the border region. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem can’t be far down the list. It’s on, ladies and gentleman. There is no other option remaining than to completely disable Hezbollah and, if necessary, Lebanon.

Perhaps I should ask this in its own thread but the people responding to this one might have the best answers. Can anyone recommend some resources (likely books) on the history of the Israeli-Arab conflicts? I know very little about what has transgressed in the past to lead to the current situation and thus I have to take news stories at more or less face vale, which is never a good idea. Are there any neutral resources out there, or do you just have to try and balance out the biases?

I suggest you try to balance out the biases. I haven’t found a neutral source, personally. Of course, I tend towards the pro-Jewish.

My wife’s cousin’s brother-in-law was one of the victims of the missile attack on Haifa this morning.

As I do not currently feel capable of reading, or reacting to, contrary points of view within the standards of this forum, I will refrain from posting to this and other topical threads until I do feel capable of doing so.

My heart goes out to his family, to the other victims of this and other missile attacks, as well as to those innocent Lebanese civilians who have lost their own loved ones, on the other side.

May the serpent’s head be crushed, and the cancer that is Hizballah be excised from the body of the Lebanese nation, as speedily, and at as little additional cost to innocent lives on both sides of the fence, as possible.


My family lives in Haifa, as do many of my friends. Most of them spent the day at home at the recommendation of the aurhorities, and they probably won’t be going out tomorrow. Haifa is Israel’s third largest city, and as of now it’s completely on hold.

Plus, someone is trying to kill them. We can’t have that.

As for Thoreau, he wasn’t a military man. You are, and you should know that decisive action - even the wrong decisive action - is always better than inaction. No-one will follow a leader who just stands there. The trick is not to do nothing, nor to do what your enemy expects; it’s to do what your enemy doesn’t expect. Hizballas expected us to bomb then for a few days and then sit fown to haggle for our men - in other ways, hand over a huge PR victory. We’re not going to do that. I hope we don’t end up with a regional war, but we’re not going to end this situation where we started, either. Hizballa is going to suffer. The’ye going to remember what it’s like to fear us.

(Inceidentally, the thing about regional wars is… regional wars we can win. Guerilla groups like Hizballa have the advantage when it comes to limited conflict, and the bigger this thing gets, the stronger we are. Maybe we shouldn’t let this thing stay so limited).

You mentioned a philosopher, so let me mention another one: Niccolo Machiavelli. In The Prince, his indispensible political handbook, he debated at length on whether one should be loved or feared, and while he didn’t reach a conclusive answer, he stressed that one must always be either one or the other. The Arabs will never love us. Never. So I guess we’re left with the second option.

Mull on that.

I’m sorry, Dani.


The more I watch the news the more I realize that I probably picked a wrong time to enlist.