Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, Us – updates

I did a post recently on the escalation of conflict by the Israeli government on Palestinians in Gaza and now also in Lebanon (according to this report, bombing a powerplant there too.). As I said then, this is one issue that I have never been able to see a solution to, but at least in the past I could feel thankful that it was not likely to directly affect Australia or most Australians. However, I don’t feel that way anymore.

The way the so-called ‘war on terror’ is portrayed and prosecuted includes a very strong inference that it is a battle between militant Islam and the West – in crude but none the less reasonably valid terms, ‘them’ and ‘us’. I don’t accept the view that this is a struggle between Islam and the West, but unfortunately, the more it is portrayed this way by western leaders and commentators, the more this perception can become a reality.

In such circumstances, in the same way that many people in Western countries are seeing all Muslims as linked to “them”, we in the West are faced with being seen as linked to the actions of countries like Israel, who are clearly seen as one of “us”.

When Israel acts or reacts in ways which are disproportionate, excessive or clearly unjust, we in the West are now more at risk of being caught up in the backlash (or ‘blowback’ to use the US term) – particularly if we sit silently by and do not criticise such actions.

I feel a bit ashamed to admit it, but it is as much this self-interest as it is my sense of injustice that drives me to express concern at the extreme, unjust and disproportionate actions which the Israeli government is currently engaged in.

“We” demand of the general Muslim community that they criticise more stridently any violence by extremists and fundamentalists who call themselves Muslim, even though – as this Karen Armstrong article I linked to previously shows, fundamentalist terrorists are much more antagonistic to mainstream Muslims than they are to the West.

If Western governments and leaders demand that the Muslim community do more to criticise “them”, it is not surprising that Muslims look askance when extreme disproportionate action by Israel, clearly involving collective punishment of whole civilian communities, is only met with minimalists murmurings of concern by the West, when Israel is clearly linked to “us”.

The trouble with governments trying to insist that we are at war with so-called Islamist terrorists is that the paradigm of war virtually forces people onto one side or another, as the middle ground tends to get blasted away by both extremes.

We are then at risk of forcing a large chunk of the global population to be on the opposite side to us in an unwinnable conflict, despite ‘them’ having far more in common with ‘us’ than the extremists we both abhor.

ELSEWHERE: I will link here to information on what is or has been happening in Gaza and Lebanon. I do this to provide information and views from a range of perspectives – that does not mean I endorse the contents or views contained on them.

.- A brief summary of some of the key questions from The Guardian.

.- Some pieces from the Washington Post: This one considers the impact of the current violence on Hezbollah, and whether the situation can be used to have another go at getting them to disarm? This one is long piece with a lot of detail and some reaction from different parts of the world.
This opinion piece by David Ignatius is worth a read. By pounding the Beirut airport and other civilian targets yesterday, the Israelis have taken a step back in time — to tactics that have been tried repeatedly in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories without much success.

.- Some comment on John Howard’s reaction by Armaniac on his blog.

.- Patrickg has a couple of comments on his blog, along with a link to quite an interesting (and wide ranging) interview with Fred Halliday, a Professor of International Relations based in the UK who considers the narrow thinking by both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ on international issues.

.- Veteran Middle East reporter, Robert Fisk, who is currently based in Beirut, provides some regional political analysis.

.- Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper reports that “Lebanon was effectively under siege Thursday after Israel bombarded the country’s airport and imposed blockades on its seaports”.

.- The Daily Star also reports that “Israeli warplanes bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Gaza Thursday, causing heavy damage and wounding 10 children”.

.- Israels’ Haaretz newspaper says that Israel’s “operations are guided by an effort to indicate to the Lebanese government those areas for which Israel considers it responsible. Therefore, it is important to note not only the nature of the targets the air force is attacking, but also those that it is not. The air force, for example, attacked Hezbollah offices, but none in Beirut”.

.- This Haaretz article quotes a Lebanese analyst saying ” there are huge swathes of Lebanon that understand the extent of the Hezbollah danger, but are helpless. Don’t expect citizens to demonstrate outside government buildings tomorrow and demand that the state disarm Hezbollah. Washington, France and the UN tried through Resolution 1559 and failed, and you want a weak government that has not yet really begun to govern to succeed?”

Please like & share:

90 Comments

  1. Aron [post 45]:
    That is just what I have seen in Malaysia too. Prosperity there has indeed meant that religion complements the other aspects of Society rather than confronting them; this means that many Malaysians can be devout Moslems AND progressive too.

  2. The ambassador in Lebanon is a man named Greg Wallis who used to be the kommandant at Curtin prison and then Baxter prison for refugees., including in 2003 , when a 7 year old child was separated from her father, locked him in isolation for 60 days and then deported the child to Iran without his permission. They had been in detention for 3 or 4 years at the time and I attended the court hearings for this case.

    DIMA thought it was perfectly acceptable to strip this man, beat him, lock him in the same cells they put Cornelia Rau and to have three ACM guards escort his tiny little girl to Iran to give her to a mother who didn’t want her and who didn’t have legal custody.

    The full federal court were aghast. Shockingly it is also legal for a public servant in Australia to kidnap a little girl and deport her without documents or permission and dump her. The court case is called Mastipour for all those who know how to read the federal court site – it should shock the life out of even pc.

    The rumour was spread that the father had molested his child, which was not true. The dad was lied to and told his little girl had been taken shopping when they locked him in isolation. I forgot to mention why he was in isolation. This man who was accused of molesting his child refused to be arbitrarily strip searched in her presence.

    Monty Bakhtiyari told me details that didn’t make the courts but this case was not the only one.

  3. Deborah

    Its clear you dont read all of the posts or all of a persons comments being being critical of them.

    If you had you would have seen i was speaking only to extream people and sleepers.
    We do have such people here you know.

    The vast muslim people are kind and make good Australians
    They are welcome.
    Anybody who does support terrorism should feel free to leave.
    Whats so racial about that.

    Its certainly a over used word.
    I am the one asking everybody to invite their muslim neighbours in for a coffee.
    I think you need to think before making comments. OR at least read all of the comment.

  4. Marilyn
    Thats Where You Are So Wrong. If you dont get the link you will never understand.

    I was pointing out that Muslim People do have compashion.

    My expereince with Muslim leaders of Australia Is I feel Somthing i can share because many Australian citizens are actually frightended of these people.

    live Exports are of concern to muslim leaders which shows they have compashion.

    The public might like to know that dont you think.?

    Re Your work with Andrew you are correct.
    You have never said you worked for Andrew.
    Just with him.
    You have posted to that effect several times.

    . Still if it doesnt worry Andrew its certainly not my business or concern for that matter.

    I am concerned at your refusal to reply re the AFIC M R>

    All I can say is that these people are my biz Contacts and some are personal friends so please respect that I accidently included those private contacts and try to restrain yourself.

  5. Ms Lyndall Sachs
    Ambassador to Lebanon
    Biography
    Ms Sachs is a senior staff member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is currently Assistant Secretary, Parliamentary and Media Branch and departmental Senior Spokesperson, a position she has held since 2004. Prior to this she was Director, Media Liaison Section (2001-04).

    Before joining DFAT in 2001, Ms Sachs worked for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), London, as Public Advocacy Officer and Senior Media Spokesperson (1997-2001). She has also held the positions of Refugee Initiatives Manager, Marie Stopes International (1996-97), and UNHCR Senior Public Information Officer in London (1994-95), Goma (formerly Zaire) (1994) and Belgrade (1991-94). Ms Sachs also held a variety of positions in the then Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, (1988-91) and the then Public Service Board (1982-88).

    Ms Sachs was born in Sydney in 1960. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in History and Japanese from the University of Queensland.

    I could be wrong of course…

  6. Nelson Mandela turned 88 yesterday.

    “Sometimes it is beholden upon a generation to become great. You could be that generation.”

    An inspiring thought from his ‘Make Poverty History’ rally in London last year. It makes me remember Hope. And that just maybe victory for justice and peace is possible. One thing is certain – the current generation of international leaders have failed.

    Who will take over from Mandela when he is gone?

    Who?

  7. Interesting that you should choose Mandela as the template for the sorts of world leaders you’d like to see.

    Mandela got his start as a terrorist, and the ANC was an active terrorist organisation while he was in jail.

    Now South Africa is a racist state again, only this time it’s the whites who are the most victimised.

    George Bush and Ehud Olmert fight against terrorism, unlike mandela the retired terrorist. I’d rather have them in charge.

  8. America’s seemingly blanket support for Israel is often put down simply to the influence of Jews in the US. IT wouldn’t hurt Australians to understand the link between fundamentalist Christian Zionists and their views on Israel and Eschatology (the study of the ‘end times and the literal return of Christ’). THeir influence is profound, and people holding these views make up a large part of the Republican constituency, and include one of two notable Neo-conservatives, as I understand it.

    (Vitriolic TeleEvangelist Pat Robinson is a particularly influential, though idiotic IMHO, proponent of these views to the uneducated masses.)

    An interesting article from the Jewish perspective can be found here:
    http://www.infoisrael.net/cgi-local/text.pl?source=4/b/viii/040720061

  9. The person responsible for getting people out of Lebanon was the kommandant for Curtin and Baxter.

  10. Last night I found the independent confirmed deaths by violence in Iraq for May and June.

    5,818 dead Iraqi civilians.

    5,762 wounded Iraqi civilians.

    142 dead allied soldiers.

    877 wounded alled soldiers.

    For every dead US soldier 41 Iraqi men, women and children are being slaughtered.

    This was strictly our war of want rather than necessity.

    Israel wants a war of necessity and reports today show that the US has given them one more week of blowing up food supplies, infrastructure and others before they might say something – but then their moral authority is also buried with ours.

  11. So how many of those deaths are due to the “Insurgency” marilyn?

    (Iraqis killing Iraqis)

  12. EP, I knew you’d fall for that one – it just reminds me how far out you are and out of sync with pretty much everone. So, Mandela is a retired terrorist now? I think you’ll find the man has forgiven those who labelled him so in the past, so I’ll forgive you too. It’s true that Thabo Mbeki is squandering away his legacy, but are you suggesting Apartheid should have continued? I think you will find it COULD NOT continue, simply because such systems eventually collapse under the wieght of their own insanity. It’s true that the ANC resorted to ‘terrorism’, just as the SA government resorted to ‘terrorism’ against its own people. They left no alternative to violence – it was what they sowed, and what they reaped in return. Call it karma, christianity, irony, whatever – it’s a fact.

    My dear Pundit, today I came across a quote James Brooke wrote in his dairy in 1842, “I risk nothing. I never enter a battle unless I am certain of victory.” It seems a lesson you would do well to learn, given that you have chosen thus far to make war upon pretty much the whole world – Muslims, Africans, feminists, immigrants, and now Nelson Mandela! I mean, really.

  13. Oh, and Marilyn, it is true – but that list doesn’t include the thousands upon thousands (note they remain unnaccounted for) of Iraqi soldiers, many of them conscripts, who were killed in the invasion, many of them ‘vapourised’ or ‘pink-misted’ as the US army calls it, whilst sitting in their useless trenches.

  14. I’m going to go and have a nice glass of vino now. A toast to Nelson Mandela, who will be remembered by History when Bush and Olmert (or whatever his hame is) are angry and pathetic footnotes in the progress of humankind.

  15. With the greatest respect Marilyn – as apparently if anyone disagrees wiht you it is claimed to be bullying but that sort of hystreical abusive rant is – I think the words were inetresting and informative – I think red was actually talking more about citizens expectations that somehow the government has to do everything for them and they have some sort of god given expectation that if an instantaneous respiosne is not forthcoming then the “governemnt should pull there fingers out”. Of what is of course conveniently never mentioned.
    thanks ken couldent have sead it better my self

    marilyn i feel for thease ppl who want out but neither me ,you or the australian govt asked or forced them to go there .
    i think that they are lucky to live in a country that cares for them its obviouse the other one dosent so mutch for duel citisenship.

  16. Aron and Evil Pundit:

    It’s not a new idea but I can’t help seeing a few parallels between the rise and fall of the old South African boer republics and the state of Israel, just a few.

  17. I think you’re pretty astute Graham

    There was strong links between Israel and SA during Apartheid years when SA was short of friends. There was and is a large population of prosperous Jews in SA.

    Having said that, the (current)Liberal Government reminds me of the Suid Afrikan Nationals in their policies and the way they go about their business.

  18. Ladies and Gentlmen,

    I came across your debate and was very intrigued by views of Ozzies on the current events in my region.
    I saw a request up top for an Israeli or Lebanese to participate in the forum for some inside views of the situation, as an Israeli I would like to answer any questions or views you might have, trying to be as unbiased as possible – which obviously isn’t an easy task for someone who is a side of the conflict…

    At your disposal….

  19. Geoff how many insurgent Iraqis were killing other Iraqis before we invaded the place? What, you don’t know? That was not the point though was it? Almost 6,000 Iraqi civilians have been slaughtered was the point.
    Hello Tal. First let me say that I have the greatest respect for Israel on most issues but unlike many here I feel a true friend should criticise when things are going pretty bad.

    For example, I find it shocking that beautiful little girls are allowed to write “with Love” on bombs to be fired on civilian populations and I think any reasonable person would. Why should that little girl be taught to hate and how would she really feel if that bomb killed another little girl as innocent as her?

    I am also shocked and saddened by the over reaction which is crippling Beirut and Gaza. The people are innocent and doubly victimised. The children particularly didn’t vote for Hamas and don’t know about Hezbollah do they?

    Now we get back to dual citizens. How disgusting that some here think they should be forced to stay in Lebanon facing death and destruction – many of them have already been there and done that which is why they are here. Having a holiday in your home land is still not a crime worthy of the disgraceful way some here think of the people involved.

    What if they are dual citizen Israelis? What about the dual citizen mercenary Doug Wood who was rescued from Iraq? Should he have been left to have his head cut off? What about all of my families who came here from 1844 onwards and were virtually from two lands? Should they have been ignored?

    The people who are Australians or Palestinian or Lebanese or Israeli all have a single right – to stay alive. I haven’t heard any other country even remotely suggest that their dual citizens should have been left to die to be bombed just because they went on a holiday has anyone else?

    Tal, stay safe in Israel. But I won’t take sides as I think probably Hamas, Hezbollah and the Israeli government are all as bad as each other.

  20. Now Kristol is calling on us to take advantage of Israel’s momentum by attacking Iran. They just don’t know when to stop. The Middle East is turning into a black hole that threatens to eat everything, and at the same time, the freakin’ idiots who dragged us into Iraq on a tide of neocon rhetoric to start this all are haunting my computer. I need an exorcist!

  21. Hi Marilyn,

    First, regarding the girl writing “with love” I have to say that I’m not aware of any incident like that but it sounds highly unlikely since the army don’t really allow children near it’s ammunation depots or artillery positions….where exactly did you hear that? Nor do the country, as a genenral rule, educate to hate – unlike our palastinian neighbours who still include “the protocols of the elders of zion” as a part of their curiculum.

    As for the so called over reaction – I think this time Israel has reacted with such force because we are simply fed up. Israel has completly withdrawed its forces from Lebanon at 2000 – the new border accepted by the International community and the UN. Ever since, the Hizbollah have been shooting from across the border on both civilian and military targets, it has abducted three soldiers from the Israeli side of the border at 2000, after the withdrawl, and we got them back eventually, in bodybags.
    All of that coming from a territory of a soverign state, Lebanon, who did nothing to contain the Hizbollah and left the entire southern region of the country to its rule allowing them to raise their eyes to the sky and say – it’s not our fault….
    Israel on its part didn’t retaliate on any of the events for the past six years.

    The Gaza strip is quite a similar issue – Israel completly withdrawed from the region last year, not a single soldier nor a settler remained within the gaza strip. What did we get in return? Hundreds of rockets on a daily basis on the Israeli towns in the south.

    No state can allow itself not to retaliate on such blatant attacks – especially a state which is fighting terror for the past 58 years.

    It might be difficult for you to accept that but Israel is usually trying its best to avoid hurting civilians – unlike the Hamas and Hizbollah who targets, mainly, civilians.
    This time indeed, the IDF is taking less precautions regarding civlians since a)this is a war and we cannot behave like the only civilized kid on the block when everyone else shoot us with no concerns what so ever. b)the Hizbollah is actually using many civilian houses as ammnunition depots and/or launching positions for their rockets.

    This time, the Israeli government and people felt that we simply had it – and the lebanese government need to take responsibility on its territory or face the consequenses. As long as civilians in the northern region of the country have to sleep in bomb shelters, so will people in Lebanon.

    Myself and the majority of Israelis take no joy in causing such damage to Lebanon – but if we make simple calculation who should suffer – our population or the Lebanese – the answer is quite clear.

  22. Welcome, Tal. Please bear in mind that Marilyin is, shall we say, unconventional in her thinking, and your thoughtful response will probably earn you a diatribe about completely unrelated matters such as the treatment of Papuan refugees in Australia. This is normal and is no cause for alarm.

    Aron, I’m glad that you think Nelson Mandela has “forgiven” people for calling him a terrorist. Do you think his group’s victims have also forgiven him for killing and mutilating them? Look up “necklacing” and other charming pastimes of the ANC.

    South Africa is heading down the same road that Zimbabwe has already travelled. I think Mandela’s legacy won’t be as positive as you believe, but then, why let reality intrude on your dreams? Keep that imagination active, and you can feel ineffectual but warm and fuzzy, while the nasty realists actually get things done.

  23. The good ol’ ‘terrorist’ label – the perfect way to stifle debate. I noticed the gutless Kevin Rudd making sure he threw around the ‘terrorist’ label as often as possible as a cloak for the pathetic unequivocal support he and the ALP are giving to Israel. All you have to do is call someone a terrorist, and everything apparently is allowed and excused.

    It is a false debate to go on about whether the ANC were terrorists. They used violence, including against civilians, but they were also resisting extreme state sanctioned and enforced oppression and violence and all other methods of resistence had been squashed. It’s not good that they used violence, but why is that violence ‘terrorism’, but the violence that Israel is using is self-defence.

    And let’s not forget what some of the founding fathers of Israel got up to – bombing buildings, murders, etc – why is that not called terrorism any more?

    This isn’t some comic book with black hats and white hats, this is the real world, where one group of extremely well armed thugs seem prepared to continually take the bait of a group of comparatively poorly armed thugs and keep the killing of innocents rolling along – all with the tacit approval of the biggest, most well armed bully on the block. It’s a pity we can’t hide from it any more.

    Tal – best of luck mate, and I do sympathise. But bombing civilian infrastructure and collective punishment is simply not on. If it was not for the fact that the USA was currently in the hands of oddball fundamentalist zealots, Israel would not be getting away with this over reaction.

    As to what Marliyn was writing about Israeli children writing on bombs, I imagine she’s referring to some pictures that arfe circulating around emails and the net. Unfortunately, these days you can never trust a photograph to be what people say it is, although it does seem highly improbable. Still in a world as screwed up as ours, who knows.

    There’s a fair chance children living in the mdist of war will grow up having a few issues anyway, but there are few things worse than seeing kids being force fed hate-propaganda. It certainly happens in some of the fundamentalist Islamic schools in some countries, and promoting extremist nationalism in any country produces a similar result.

  24. In answer to the Pundit: Truth and Reconciliation Commission – look it up.

    As for your ‘nasty realists actually getting things done’ – now what are you talking about? I thought you dissaproved of ANC ‘terrorism’. Oh well. I’m glad you’re getting interrested in realism.

  25. Ironically as I was reading Marilynspost on numbers killed – i was also reading the Daily Terror. In one of those “on this day” sections it noted that on July 19th 90 yearsa go, 5533 young austrlaisn were killed in the first wave of trecn warfare in France. 150 yearsa go thousadns of Chinese rebels were mutilated by Chinese imperilasits – no doubt the list goes on.

    No wars are necessary or wanted and the current round prove what we have known for millenia that as the number of humasn increase (ie the size of the mob increases), despite all the education knowledge whatver, the likelihood of turning to violecne to solve apparent irreconcilable difficuklteies. Nations of course are the ultimate mob mentality.

    The rightness or wrongness (if such ever exists) is alwasy lost in time – yes pessimism overcomes cynicism every nown and then

  26. Good grief, I actually agree with some of your points Tom2.

    “Geoff how many insurgent Iraqis were killing other Iraqis before we invaded the place? What, you don’t know? That was not the point though was it? Almost 6,000 Iraqi civilians have been slaughtered was the point”

    As usual Marliyn dodges reality. So how about it Marliyn, how about an answer. BTW I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know.

  27. Tal for your info the newspaper picture of the young Israelli girl signing rockets to be fired into Lebanon by the IDF mentioned by Marilyn is referred to in the Australian national newspaper editorial today;

    “Those who condemn images of Israeli girls writing messages on artillery shells are rarely if ever heard denouncing the relentless propaganda that brainwashes Palestinian children to hate their Jewish neighbours and celebrate the deeds of suicide bombers.”
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19847517-7583,00.html

    I believe it’s impossible for land drenched Australians who have never visited the region to comprehend the close proximity of your state to it’s neighbours let alone the coexistence and the daily flow of people across borders. There is a misguided view here (compounded by the fact that we have no land borders) that lines can be drawn in the sand (or in our case water) and if promises by both sides are adhered to it would be problem solved.

    EP’s criticism of Marilyn relate to Australia’s border protection strategies – labelled by some as ‘penetration phobia’ and stem from to an influx of a few thousand middle eastern people by boat seeking asylum. The phobia refers to the loathing (enjoyed by some posters here) of unauthorized arrivals, who breach the protective skin around the body politic of Australia. Why is this phobia so intense here – perhaps because it echoes the form of the original imperial invasion, with its unannounced arrivals and unauthorized seizures of land?

    The issue of Australian residents/citizens getting caught up in the current conflict and who are stuck in Lebanon is creating a stir here in Australia.

    Our Foreign Minister is increasingly coming under criticism for the delay in evacuation and his inability to play a part in a negotiated ceasefire to enable Australians to leave.

  28. Wendy lewthwaite,”The vast muslim people are kind and make good Australians
    They are welcome.
    Anybody who does support terrorism should feel free to leave.
    Whats so racial about that.”

    My comment was to halal kind meats, but I think you must be one and the same person, it’s a bit confusing as you answer in one name and post comment in another.

    I do read your posts, in both names, and you don’t seem to show any understanding or even care about the reasons behind the “terrorism” see posts #50 by Kaye Bernard and # 74 from Tom2 for very good explanations.

    You can’t keep an international problem and a war in which we are willing participants away from our shores. No longer should people in this country cover their eyes and ears and pretend that it is all OK as long as the bad people, the “terrorists” just go away. Just who are the terrorists? It is difficult to tell, they both behave the same.

  29. Kaye – I don’t think you have it right at all about penetration phobia (althouhg I appreciate the delicate irony of the term). For what its worth, I think its is far far more simple than that, by perception or by hook or by crook largely doesn’t matter, but the vast majoirty of people see it more as “pushing in at the tuck shop line”. This is a great cultural sin in Austrlalia. I am not saying I think that, just I think that has been the impression given and is deeply penetrated into the psyche.

  30. Mm, good post Kaye. So true.

    In regard to Ken’s post, I just can’t resist linking to the diaries of Wilfred Blunt, an English civil servant of the 19th C. – the entry for new year’s eve 1900 is especially poetic and prophetic.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1899blunt.html

    Like Ozymandias, ‘look on my works ye migthy, and despair!’

  31. The two sides aren’t going to stop fighting just so some foreigners can leave. That “negotiated ceasefire” business has never been anything but face-saving waffle.

    Israel will do all it can to eliminate as much as possible of the terrorists’ bases, infrastructure, and capability. Unfortunately, since the terrorists live amongst the civilain population, using their own relatives as human shields, there will be civilian casualties.

    That the civilian casualties are so low in comparison to other conflicts is a tribute to the professionalism of the Israeli armed forces.

  32. Ken how many people have been locked up for up to 7 years for pushing in at the tuck shop? Really you are absurd.

    Tal, here is a little problem with your thesis. It is very nice that Israel left the Lebanon, but they were occupying the place for 23 years before that. Is it now some sort of compensation for the loss of territory that they had stolen anyway that drives the Israeli government to blow up the hospitals, the schools, the bridges, the airport and other infrastructure to stop people leaving? That is the tactics used by the nazis to exterminate the Jews. How can any sane person think that is reasonable?

    In Gaza and the West Bank and the Golan Heights Israeli’s governments have actively encouraged the settlements for decades and had Jewish people from all over the world come and take the land illegally.

    Much is being made by many that the UN said 1595 means that Hizbollah had to be disarmed, but they only existed as a means of driving the Israelis out of their land. It is not Syria, Palestine or Lebanon occupying Israel and it is not them who have ignored nearly 100 UN resolutions to leave the occupied territories.

    Put yourself into the shoes of the Palestinian children who cannot leave their homes, or the Lebanese children. I understand the horror that the Israeli people feel as well but you have not had the electricity blown up, the water supplied blown up, the airports and hospitals and all the roads.

    How is that fair? Israel spends $12.5 billion on arms while Syria spends $1.1 blllion and other nations only a few hundred million. How is that fair?

    I find it truly shocking that anyone could condone the continuation of old hatreds to the extent that little girls are writing signs of hatred on bombs to kill other children.

    Paul McGeough is a Sydney journalist who said this am “I always feel for the citizens of the countries in this place before the visitors and tourists because they cannot leave.”

    Hizbollah are not the government of Lebanon and the children of the Lebanon should not be bombed to bits.

    Of course Australia, US and UK have no right to utter a word anymore about any of this since we blew up Iraq without cause.

    Stay safe Tal.

  33. marilyn.
    For example, I find it shocking that beautiful little girls are allowed to write “with Love” on bombs to be fired on civilian populations and I think any reasonable person would. Why should that little girl be taught to hate and how would she really feel if that bomb killed another

    even i can make a photo like that marilyn its not hard.

    Now we get back to dual citizens. How disgusting that some here think they should be forced to stay in Lebanon facing death and destruction – many of them have already been there and done that which is why they are here. Having a holiday in your home land is still not a crime worthy of the disgraceful way some here think of the people involved

    i think you are reffering to me .so exactly where have i sead that any one be forsed to stay in lebanon.have you ever thought how hard the logistics of moving that many ppl out of there in a hurry i dont think so.
    its not a crime for anyone to holiday in there home land.
    so now its up to there adopted country ( not there home land) to get them out and complain that its not quik enough.
    you seem to be prity good with statistics on war deaths
    how many australians have sacrificed there lives for other ppls homelands .

  34. Deborha

    Re your post 79.
    Yes you are correct. I am one of the principles of Halal kind Meats. I also work with PALE People Against live exports and intensive farming in conjunction with RSPCA QLD.

    We work to improve animal welfare and to create a closer working relashonship with muslim people.
    Here are some links fyi http://www.livexports.com
    http://www.halakindmeats.com

    Sorry if you were confused.

    I agree they will come to Australia.
    I think as far as the PM is concerned thats what he is concerned about.

    You are correct it is very important that Australian people understand what is going on.

    That is the only way to control the situation.

    I think Bush always knew the support for terrorism was coming from the other nations but was held back because of the UN.

    M I dont agree that Australia is not doing enough to try to get the people out from this area.

    If the boot were on the other foot I would hate to be holding my breath waiting for them to get us out.

    I dont know why you are so anti Australian people.

    There are good and bad in all walks of life.
    I know some wonderful people but despite our friendships we dont always agree on everything either.

    I for one do not want people walking up and down my street hiding their faces.

    For pity sake this is Australia.

    Nor do I want to hear of our young girls going to the beach being called names.

    balance M blalance.

    We must learn to say enough is Enough nicely.

    Its time the PM outlawed such stupid practices here.

    We have to consider Australians and they find this practise both insulting to women all Australians and scarey.

    /Many of my muslim friends totally agree .

  35. Wendy get a grip woman. Wearing head scarfs and things in Australia is nothing new or unusual. My mother never leaves the house without a scarf on her head, the Greek and Italian women wore scarves for decades.

    It is not frightening and I defy you to tell me that you are really scared of women minding their own business when they walk down the street.

    Come on Wendy, money where the mouth is on this. I don’t care what women wear and picking on some for wearing the Hijab is the same as saying women deserve to be raped because they wear mini-skirts and I sincerely hope we have all grown out of that tripe.

    We cannot outlaw clothing for heavens’ sake, that is absurd. Do we then outlaw the head dress of Sikh’s, the Jewish yarmulke? The robes of nuns and priests? Where should we stop and should we design a Stepford Wives type of uniform and we can all be clones of each other.

    Talk about dumb. Wendy you are as far from dumb as anyone I have ever spoken to so why pretend that you are?

  36. Evening (at least in this part of the globe…)

    First, thanks for all the welcomes….

    Second, Marilyn,I’d like to adress all the points you raised in your post:

    “It is very nice that Israel left the Lebanon, but they were occupying the place for 23 years before that. Is it now some sort of compensation for the loss of territory that they had stolen anyway that drives the Israeli government to blow up the hospitals, the schools, the bridges, the airport and other infrastructure to stop people leaving? That is the tactics used by the nazis to exterminate the Jews. How can any sane person think that is reasonable?”

    Let’s get our facts right: Israel never had any territorial interset with Lebanon nor did it needed any resources from Lebanon nor did it bring any settlers to Lebanon. The majority of the 23 years Israel kept a narrow strip of land in the south of Lebanon to prevent the Hizbellah to preform exactly what it is doing at the moment. The reason for the initial invasion back in 1982 was to drive back the Palastinian FATAH organization from doing the same – after years of it shelling our northern cities. The Israeli government stated very clearly that it does not intend to occupy Lebanon and this conflict will end as soon as our abducted soldiers be returned , The Hizbellah withdraw to north of the Litany river and the Lebanese government take responsibility for its borders. Saying that we are trying to punish someone for a lost of territory we never desired is absurd.
    Same goes for the ever popular Nazi-Israeli comparison. How exactly are the tactics of Israel bombing Hizbellah infrustructre resembles the Nazi operations?! Do you see millions of Lebanese horded into cattle trains and gassed to death?

    “In Gaza and the West Bank and the Golan Heights Israeli’s governments have actively encouraged the settlements for decades and had Jewish people from all over the world come and take the land illegally.”

    True about Gaza and the west bank – however, Israel has never annexed those territories and it is now withdrawing from them, trying at the same time to keep a measure of security for itself. But when to opposite side is ruled by an extremist islamist organization who officialy doesn’t recognize our right to exist – well, that’s a problem wouldn’t you say?
    As for the Golan Heights which was annexed from the Syrians after 67 – a point to consider: during syrian rule the only thing that existed there were military posts, cannons shelling northern israel and the sea of galilee constantly. Today? some of the best wineries of the country are situated there. I’d say that’s an improvement.

    “Much is being made by many that the UN said 1595 means that Hizbollah had to be disarmed, but they only existed as a means of driving the Israelis out of their land. It is not Syria, Palestine or Lebanon occupying Israel and it is not them who have ignored nearly 100 UN resolutions to leave the occupied territories.”

    First, the Hizbellah actually has a bigger agenda than pushing back Israel. It has the vision of establishing an religious theocracy in Lebanon very much like Iran – it’s prime sponsor. Even so, let us say that it is the sole purpose of the organization – Israel withdrew from Lebanon prior to 1595, so what exactly is the need for the continuing existance of it?

    “Hizbollah are not the government of Lebanon and the children of the Lebanon should not be bombed to bits.

    “How is that fair? Israel spends $12.5 billion on arms while Syria spends $1.1 blllion and other nations only a few hundred million. How is that fair?”

    a. Israel has the biggest GDP per capita in the region. Not because we stole from anyone, but because we are talented. so naturally, we have more money to spend on security.

    b. your eqaution is incorrect – you should check Israel vs. Syria AND Iran AND Hamas AND Hizbellah AND possibly Iraq in the future AND the rest of the extremist arab countries. 7 millions Israelis vs. over 300 million Arabs. That’s the number you should look at. Do you have any doubt that without the strongest army in the region there would not have been Israel long ago?

    “I find it truly shocking that anyone could condone the continuation of old hatreds to the extent that little girls are writing signs of hatred on bombs to kill other children.”

    Like I said before – this is propoganda, nothing more. Again – the IDF is a professional army. Do you really believe it will let children near operational artillary cannons or live ammo? Be reasonable.

    “Hizbollah are not the government of Lebanon and the children of the Lebanon should not be bombed to bits.”

    Hizbellah is operating in the sovereign territory of the government of Lebanon. Who should we deal with then? That arrogant fanatic Nasrallah? His sponsor the deranged Ahamdinajad? Or perhaps the well known democrat Assad?
    And by the way, since the Hizbollah has over 20 members of Parliment and two cabinet ministers in Lebanon – it is a part of the official Lebanon.

    I agree that the children of Lebanon should not be blown to pieces.
    But neither do the children of Israel.

  37. Marilyn – if you don’t understand what an anlaogy is, then don’t comment on my posts please. Similalry – if you are incapable of understanding the phrase “I am not saying I think that” – don’t ascirbe a view to me, and abuseme, when I have specifically indicated the view is not mine. Thank you

  38. Tal as a piece of trivia regarding horticulture and production in the Golan Heights, Israel is the largest producer of cut flowers derived from Australian native plant species.

    Of these Australian plant species ‘Geraldton Wax’ (Chamelaucium uncinatum)is the most widely grown in the GH fields The wreath of flowers featuring Geralton Wax and a card from the 2 English princes on top of Princess Diana’s coffin was grown in Israel.

    I spent some time there visiting the GH fields and the growing technology was sophiscticated, however the style of armed farming in that region was an eye opener to me. The forward vehicle on this farm tour was manned by an armed eminent scientist from the Volcanii.

    On a reverse visit to Australia by a young Israelli nurserywomen I took her on a 400km field tour here in Australia. A roadside country stop here for a sandwich and cup of tea was simply unnerving to her as she was waiting for the attack.

    And a bit of trivia for the home audience interested in the overseas labour issue, Israel has for many years relied on guest overseass workers (many from Thailand) to sustain the high level of horticultural production in that country.

Comments are closed.