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July 10, 2006

“My brother Muhammad, who died, had just arrived a minute before to visit my married sister,” Ms. Hajaj said, beginning to cry, then held out her hand, holding a curved piece of shrapnel. “More than 20 pieces like this we took from the body of my mother,” she said.

Um Hassan Hajaj, the aunt of the dead mother, spoke angrily about what she said was the responsibility of Israel and the United States for the deaths in her family. “Look at what your weapons are doing to us!” she yelled. As the television cameras came closer, she turned to them and shouted: “One day the Muslim countries will change everything, and there will be hard days for America! Injustice never lasts.”

( – quoted from the NYTimes)

Someone explain to me why I shouldn’t be pissed at Israel right now. Both from the point of view of justice and of someone wanting to save her own skin, they seem pretty damn dumb right now.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2006 3:14 pm

    You can be angry at Israel if you want, but keep in mind that anecdotes do not a conflict make.
    Though the following argument is flawed if ever really brought up in debate, keep in mind what Israel COULD do, and what the US or any European country WOULD have done had it been dropped into the heart of Islam and been surrounded by fundamentalist groups (with ever-growing support) who have a history of liking nothing better than to see your people fed into a food processor.

    “One day the Muslim countries will change everything, and there will be hard days for America! Injustice never lasts.”

    Right. I feel sorry. I really do. Remember when Eddie Izzard said “And a jihad on you!”? Well, I don’t think anyone’s laughing at this one.
    To further counter your quote:

    As the bodies of the dead were brought, wrapped in the flags of Islamic Jihad and Fatah, there was screaming and ululating and the cascading sounds of gunfire from the militants surging around the courtyard. The militants wore various forms of mufti, waving weapons and flags, including the green of Hamas.

    As he walked along the route of the funeral march, Abu Ahmed, the spokesman for the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, quietly promised retribution. “We have 70 suicide bombers in a new brigade awaiting orders to strike Israel,” he said.
    Asked whether Islamic Jihad would respect a negotiated political document calling for Palestinian military activity to concentrate on Israel proper, he smiled wearily. “All of historic Palestine is ours, and we don’t distinguish between 1948 or 1967,” he said.

    (emphasis added, from the same NYTimes article)
    Like I said, anecdotes do not a conflict make.
    I’m not pissed at either party. I just think the Palestinians, from a tactical standpoint, are moronic in egging on one of the most powerful militaries on Earth. Yes, I can say “Palestinians” instead of “a few Palestinians”, as Hamas was democratically elected into power with an extremely anti-Israel platform. Israel could crush them like an 800-pound gorilla boxing a chihuahua. Right now, the gorilla and the chihuahua are both in the ring, the chihuahua’s biting the gorilla everywhere, but the gorilla’s just whacking it with a rolled-up newspaper.
    To me, “justice” is relative, and if you want to look at it from “Israel trying to save their own skin,” they’re stupid only in their over-restraint.

  2. July 11, 2006 7:26 pm

    The “Saving her own skin” actually did refer to me, not Israel. I don’t like people breeding hatred of America, but at least in Iraq it’s our own damn soldiers doing it.
    My honest opnion is that they’re both really dumb. A single kidnapped soldier does not give Israel any sort of excuse to bomb Palestine, though. Then again, ‘excuse’ is the key word: they just want a reason to do what they already want to do.
    I really shouldn’t ever follow this conflict, as it makes me really not like both sides.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    July 12, 2006 3:36 am

    If you want to form informed opinions about this conflict, you have to learn the history starting from over 50 years ago. I wouldn’t say anyone’s stupid until you’ve done that.

  4. July 12, 2006 3:43 am

    Re: ~Marcie
    History doesn’t change the injustice of the actions happening today. I might justify the actions as understandable. Doesn’t mean I have to like them.

  5. July 12, 2006 2:32 pm

    Re: ~Marcie
    “Injustice” is relative.
    American internment of Japanese Americans was “justice” back during WWII, even though most of the people imprisoned were innocent.
    Injustice is exactly what you said it is: a feeling. It’s a personal “like.”
    You’re both correct, actually, though I think Marie could’ve used a more descriptive word than “stupid.”
    But, injustice is what you want to make of it. It’s useless arguing whether or not something “unjust” when there are biased opinions (I’m looking at you, Marcie, more than Marie) and loyalties which skew opinions.
    My personal points are:
    1. Israel shouldn’t have been spun out of thin air by the distant hand of the UN in the first place, but it’s already done, so it’s useless thinking about “What if.”
    2. If you want to talk about justice, Israel does still hold more land than was given in the UN mandate. Thus, the Palestinians technically do have a leg to stand on when they claim they only want a return to pre-1967 borders. But, Palestinian proclamations of “Evil Israeli war criminals! They commit, OMG, crimes!” are hypocritical to the point of ridiculousness, since (as of yet) Israel has yet to use suicide bombers.
    3. Palestine is currently led by a blatantly anti-Israel gov’t, but this gov’t could also be one of the last mediating factors exerting any semblance of influence over (more) extremist groups.
    4. Israel recently launched an airstrike against a Palestinian power plant and distribution system, knocking out power to ~1.5 million Palestinians. If you want to go by “fairness”, et al., it’s hard to argue that that’s kosher.
    5. The Qassams keep raining down, and the militants/insurgents/freedom fighters/terrorists/soldiers (MIFFTS) keep launching assaults from civilian areas, purposely making collateral damage in Israeli counterassaults high.
    6. Israel has responded with much less force than it is capable of, to an enemy who now often has the backing of the Palestinian gov’t. As demonstrated against Egypt and Syria, the sraeli mlitary is a force to be reckoned with, even by nations with more than homemade rockets and 40-year-old AK-47’s.
    7. Palestine continues to refuse EXPLICIT recognition of Israel as a nation, continuing the cycle of “I’ll stab you in the leg, and you’ll hit me with a baseball bat. I’ll stab you in the leg, and you’ll hit me with a baseball bat. I’ll…”
    8. Sooner or later, if Palestine doesn’t wise up to the fact that it cannot possibly win anything from Israel by MIFFTS action, Israel will lose any sense of courtesy it had, and Palestine will lose much more than the “national” identity it created to fight Israel.
    9. One last point. If Israel rolled over and said “Fine. I’ll play nice. You can just implicitly ‘recognize’ me, thus allowing you the option to regroup and gather resources for Operation Erase Israel Off The Map. We’ll just overlook the fact that you really hate us now, and give you land handouts.” I don’t think Hamas will just say “Well, we’re good now. You can be here. That’s fine. I don’t care about the millions of displaced Arabs or the land that the UN took from us. We totally have the power to stop all aggression against you, esp. since none of the extremist groups hate you anymore.”
    Yeah, not happening.

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